October 29, 2009
By Mike Collins
Two T-6 Texans from Kissimmee Air Museum’s Warbird Adventures make a formation takeoff.
Kissimmee Gateway Airport in Kissimmee, Fla., has completed three projects valued at $2.5 million that the airport undertook to accommodate its growing aviation businesses and help it to best serve its customers.
The Warbird Adventures Hangar II includes a 12,000-square-foot maintenance facility and 5,000-square-foot office. The Kissimmee Air Museum’s Warbird Adventures, located on the airport, matched a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation to fund the $1.1 million project.
Warbird Adventures has been offering T-6 flights from the airport since 1998. The new hangar has allowed for the expansion of educational exhibits developed around World War II artifacts that tell little-known stories about the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Visitors to the museum can observe work being done on the aircraft, as well as the restoration of another World War II aircraft—a rare German Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
The WestOne Hangar includes a 6,400-square-foot aircraft hangar and office space for use in pilot training. Orlando Flight Training, which occupies the building, matched an FDOT grant and provided additional dollars to fund the $525,000 project.
The North Quadrant Fuel Farm project included removal of the airport’s existing underground fuel storage tanks. They were replaced with new above-ground tanks that comply with environmental regulations that take effect at the end of the year. Signature Flight Support, an FBO at the airport, provided matching dollars to an FDOT grant to help fund the $680,000 project, and will use the new storage tanks under a lease arrangement.
Another flight school at the airport, Orlando-Gateway Sport Pilot Flight Training Center, recently put a low-wing Sport Cruiser on its flight line to accommodate its growing business needs. The school also operates the high-wing Remos GX.
Located eight miles from Walt Disney World and 10 miles from the Orange County Convention Center, Kissimmee Gateway Airport accommodates general aviation traffic around the clock. It is owned and operated by the city of Kissimmee.
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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